#2113 reproduced
Simon K.

Dark Mode and MailMate

Reported by Simon K. | September 25th, 2018 @ 06:07 AM

I love that MailMate supports dark mode but this should be an optional feature. More like a dark theme or something. See attached image on how difficult it is to work with MailMate in Darkmode.

Please make it an option.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny September 25th, 2018 @ 12:54 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “reproduced”

    Dark mode in MailMate is still work in progress. I'm aware that it doesn't work well for all emails and I'll either fix that or somehow make it optional for the message view.

    Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • John Dickinson

    John Dickinson September 28th, 2018 @ 06:36 PM

    I've been able to update the message view css to give something better (IMO)--see http://d.not.mn/mailmate_dark_mode.png

    But i would love to be able to customize the colors on the message outline view and the mailboxes view. I'd like to adjust the text color, the alternating colors, and most of all, the ovals with the numbers in it. Is there any way to change these?

  • Matt Gray

    Matt Gray October 9th, 2018 @ 03:30 PM

    +1 - thanks for working on this, Benny!

  • J. David

    J. David October 31st, 2018 @ 03:43 AM

    Just upgraded from High Sierra to Mojave today with the release of 10.14.1, and got hit with this. An option to exclude the message view from dark mode (similar to what Apple Mail has) would be very welcome!

    Please also take a look at the unread message counters; they are extremely low contrast and very difficult to read.


  • benny

    benny October 31st, 2018 @ 09:54 AM

    @David: On Mojave I recommend upgrading to the latest test release: Hold down option when clicking “Check Now” in the Software Update preferences pane.

  • J. David

    J. David October 31st, 2018 @ 07:46 PM

    Updated to 5547. Huge improvement to the dark mode! Especially the Mailboxes list, which is now very readable and better than Apple Mail in my opinion. Great job!

    I do not see an option to render the message viewer in black-on-white, so I'm guessing that's not ready yet? (It does sound complicated!) When that is ready, will it apply to composing messages as well? Even with the improved contrast, I'm having real trouble reading & writing emails in white-on-black.

  • benny

    benny November 2nd, 2018 @ 02:22 PM

    @David: MailMate no longer tries to display emails as white on black if they are not plain text messages. This should make everything readable. I still have a persistent white-on-black setting on my todo.

  • J. David

    J. David November 2nd, 2018 @ 07:33 PM

    Great, thanks!

    I see that 5551 backed off the contrast a bit on the mailbox badges. Though I did slightly prefer how they looked in 5547, I suspect the newer look is probably closer to how it's "supposed" to be. :-)

  • benny

    benny November 3rd, 2018 @ 08:15 AM

    @David: Well, actually they should probably be somewhere between what they were before and what they are now. It seems that there is no standard system color matching what is used by Mail, but I might just not have looked hard enough.

  • J. David

    J. David November 3rd, 2018 @ 09:33 PM

    Good luck with that! I tried to read the official Apple dark mode developer guidelines and my eyes crossed before I was halfway through! :)

  • John Y

    John Y November 6th, 2018 @ 11:02 AM

    The HTML links in plain text emails are showing in dark blue on black, and are illegible. The message header values (for Subject, etc) are appearing in white on light grey, and are similarly illegible.

    I've added the following as dark_mode_stylesheet.css, which has fixed the links and gone back to a light background for plain text messages (for consistency with the HTML renderer) but I can't find a way to change the headers.

    Could somebody please let me know what style I need to customise here?

    (Would attach a screenshot, but the attachment section of this form is saying "Upload Quota Reached. Please notify the account owner"…)

    body {
      background-color: #f0f0f0;
      color: #0a0a0a;
    table.attachments {
      background-color: #303134;
      color: #f0f0f0;
    table.attachments td.description a:link {
      color: #f0f0f0;
    div.headers, td span.header_body {
      color: #0a0a0a;
    div.bodypart[type=text][subtype=rfc822-headers] {
        background-color: #36373A;
      color: #f0f0f0;
    div.headers a:link {
        color: #0a0a0a;
        text-decoration: none;
    div.headers a:active {
        color: darkblue;
    div.headers a:hover {
    div.headers a:visited {
        color: #0a0a0a;
  • benny

    benny November 20th, 2018 @ 12:02 PM

    • State changed from “reproduced” to “accepted”

    @John: Are you having the exact same issues with latest public release? I changed it such that only plain text emails are in “dark mode”. Everything else (HTML emails) is shown as in light mode.

    In any case, also try the latest test release: Hold down option when clicking “Check Now” in the Software Update preferences pane.

    I'm putting this ticket in the “accepted” state to reflect that some users would just like to always have headers and message view in light mode.

  • John Y

    John Y November 20th, 2018 @ 01:39 PM

    I can confirm that all the issues are fixed, except for the link colour in plain text messages. That's still too dark to be legible (see attached screenshot), even in r5566.

    I assume it's just taking the system default, as I can't see it being set anywhere in the .css files…

  • benny

    benny November 20th, 2018 @ 01:46 PM

    @John: I think this is caused by some of your customizations. This type of email is HTML and it should therefore (currently) be displayed with a white background. (Exactly because of this and many other potential coloring-issues.)

  • John Y

    John Y November 20th, 2018 @ 01:49 PM

    No, I commented out all the customisations.

    That email is sent as HTML and plain text, and I default to viewing the plain text version, which is what the screenshot is from.

    The HTML version shows in black-on-white, yes, but I don't want to have to manually toggle the view each time — or to have to view the HTML version at all if the plain text version can be made legible.

  • benny

    benny November 20th, 2018 @ 02:27 PM

    I'm still unable to reproduce this. I've got the dark mode plain text look with the dark mode blue color. This is also the case if I enable the “Prefer Plain Text” setting.

    But maybe I have customizations enabled. I'll check that (although I would have expected more users complaining about the links).

  • benny

    benny November 20th, 2018 @ 02:30 PM

    Still no luck finding the settings which could cause this.

    Do you perhaps have MmDefaultCSS configured?

    Have you tried relaunching MailMate after removing your customizations?

  • John Y

    John Y November 20th, 2018 @ 03:50 PM

    I don't think I have MmDefaultCSS configured — the key doesn't exist in com.freron.MailMate.plist.

    I've tried relaunching with ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Resources/MmMessagesWebView completely removed but it makes no difference.

    As a workaround, I could specifically style it in dark_mode_stylesheet.css — I'm guessing I need to be a bit more specific than just styling the a tag, though — is there a parent element for the message body that I could use?

  • benny

    benny November 22nd, 2018 @ 09:46 AM

    I found the problem. Check your “Theme for plain text emails” setting in the Viewer preferences pane. Switch to “Simple”.

    I had simply forgotten that my solution for themes was a temporary one which does not work in general. Sorry about the inconvenience. I'll look into finding a better approach than the current one -- the best solution requires some CSS support which is not yet available on Mojave in general (it's available in the Safari Technology Preview app).

  • John Y

    John Y November 22nd, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

    Switching to "Simple" didn't fix the problem — but "Standard" did. I managed to look right past that option when I was checking the preferences, too :)


  • benny

    benny November 22nd, 2018 @ 01:08 PM

    “Standard” was what I meant :-)

    The issue causing this is fixed in the next update. I also fixed some related coloring issues. (There's much more I should do, but this should be good enough for now.)

  • Ioa Petra'ka

    Ioa Petra'ka November 28th, 2018 @ 10:34 AM

    Hopefully you don't mind if I add to this ticket, as it seems roughly relevant. I noticed that the CSS for the built-in "Email not available on disk" message, that appears in the mail viewing area, needs to be tweaked for dark mode:

  • Ioa Petra'ka

    Ioa Petra'ka November 28th, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

    Actually, never mind! I was a build or two behind the present tense. I just updated the software and this text is now coming through clear.

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